The very description of the verb, “irregular” tells you that these verbs do not adhere to the established rules like other verbs do. They do not have a set standard which they follow; they follow their own rules. Now, regular verbs have three basic forms, namely, the present, which is also referred to as the base form, past, and the past particle. While a verb travels from the base form to the past tense, one usually tends to end it by affixing -ed
to the verb and that’s exactly how it should be done. For example:
- I always finish my work before time. (Base form)
- He finished his work before time. (Past tense)
- We have always finished our work before time. (Past participle)
On the other hand, irregular verbs do not end in -ed in either of the forms mentioned above. They are usually distinguished in three types.
- Verbs in which all the three forms remain intact or rather the same. (Such as the verb cut)
- Verbs in which two of the three forms are same. (Such as; sit -sat -sat)
- Verbs in which all three forms are different. (Such as; ring -rang -rung)
This means the verbal conjugation is not fixed, so you need to memorize the specific conjugation for the respective irregular verb. Since there are no rules or pattern one has to follow in order to learn the conjugation of these irregular verbs, all you have to do is keep your ears open and learn, so that you don’t misspeak. A firm grasp over these irregular verbs, displays your command over the language and as English speakers it is our responsibility to use these irregular verbs correctly. When you come across an irregular verb, note down all the possible conjugates and try to place them properly in all the three forms mentioned above while constructing a sentence. There are a little less than 200 verbs which are classified as irregular verbs, this article includes some of the most commonly used irregular verbs in English.